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New York in Color
Erwin Blumenfeld, Times Square, 1955, copyright Lisette Blumenfeld Georges

From the famous Life kiss to Woody Allen's bold Manhattan credits, there's no shortage of iconic black-and-white New York images. What you may be less familiar with, however, is the city's rich history of color photography. This history is the subject of curator Bob Shamis's stunning new coffee-table book, New York in Color, which is filled with some 200 vibrant photos from the past 100 years.

Organized by theme, New York in Color touches down on busy downtown scenes, graffiti-tagged East Village parties, Coney Island rides and a century's worth of tiring subway commutes. But it also looks upward--often in unexpected ways, as in this haunting 1904 Flatiron shot.

We particularly love the photos that convey well-known places as they looked in other eras--a woman herding farm animals in 1957 midtown, a bustling turn-of-the-century Mulberry Street market--though we're also partial to those of archetypal New Yorkers, like Todd Weinstein's Woman Leaving Trump Towers. Our favorite shot is this 1946 rooftop portrait of Frida Kahlo.

Photographers range from acclaimed (Helen Levitt, Joel Meyerowitz) to obscure, and subjects from glitzy and affluent to industrial and downtrodden. Luckily, even the grittiest shots are infused with total beauty.

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